The loud impact reverberated from the distance and the underground hall shook with falling dust. The candle flames trembled. The nun, Sister Helen, knitted her long brows and lifted her head to face the crowd before her. A tall, burly man clad in pitch-black armor stood beside her. He held a large flail in his hands and a thick mask concealed his facial features. Before Sister Helen were ten similarly-dressed nuns in scarlet robes, surrounding a stone-made altar on which a young lady laid with her eyes shut.
What's going on out there!
Sister Helen cursed inwardly. This ritual was extremely solemn, sacred, and exceptionally important. The Saint Knights had detected strange movements in Soraka Mountain a few days ago and as the advocate of the Saint Knights, Sister Helen had also received a revelation from the dark abyss. Through the revelation, she learned that the era of darkness and destruction was about to come. The Order on the continent would be completely toppled and this was the best opportunity for the Saint Knights to resurface. The revelation Sister Helen had received was that they needed a qualified heir to lead the Saint Knights. She had put in a lot of effort in searching for the sacrificial offering required. As long as she sacrificed the offering in the sacred, yet evil ritual, the young lady's body and soul would belong to their race entirely. The holy God they worshiped would come to this world using the young lady's body. The Saint Knights would return to the continent and bring destruction and death to all living things!
The ritual had been interrupted thrice, which infuriated Sister Helen. If they were to miss this opportunity, they would need to wait for a few more decades before they could summon their holy God back into this world. It was intolerable for the Saint Knights! It was due to this that Sister Helen had requested for everyone to be fully focused in defending the monastery tonight. But now, their ritual had been disrupted again and again within ten minutes. Although there were still a few hours available in the night, Sister Helen was concerned that the interruptions might keep happening, which had made her extremely furious and helpless at the same time.
"Do you want me to check on the situation, Helen?"
The knight beside her spoke with a low muffled voice behind the thick mask. Sister Helen pondered in silence before eventually shaking her head. "No, we will continue. The Archbishop is standing guard and he will report to us if necessary..."
As though proving Sister Helen's insights, the tightly sealed doors pushed open widely and the Archbishop entered with a heavy expression. His forehead was drenched in sweat, glittering under the radiant flames. He came to an abrupt halt after witnessing the ritual and stepped forward cautiously. Sister Helen held back her anxious and irascible mood.
"Archbishop, what exactly is happening? Our ritual has been interrupted three times already. What's going on out there? Where's our people?"
Although Sister Helen said in a calm tone, she couldn't stifle the dissatisfaction deep down in her. The Archbishop shook his head helplessly and gazed at Sister Helen and the knight beside her.
"The situation doesn't look good. We have intruders attacking the monastery!"
"Who are they?"
Sister Helen sulked instantly. She knew the constant interruptions were too unusual. If it weren't for this crucial ritual, she would have gone out to check on the situation herself. After all, the Saint Monastery had always been in isolation and peace. They survived until now because they had been prudent and kept a low profile. They knew that they weren't as powerful as before, so they had to be cautious. Apart from kidnapping their sacrificial offerings, they had never shown up before the people for years and the entire continent had almost forgotten this place that was abandoned by the Archangel. But now, someone actually knocked on their doors?!
Did something happen during the kidnap that led to this disruption?
Sister Helen shook her head helplessly. Not only were they careful in the entire kidnapping process, but they also didn't reveal their identities and their target was just the young daughter of a wealthy merchant. Moreover, they had also investigated the merchant's background thoroughly. Although the merchant was wealthy, he didn't have too many strong backings. This was why the Saint Knights weren't concerned that he would slaughter his way to their doorsteps. But now...
"It's a Battle Angel! A truly formidable Battle Angel! Our people couldn't stop her at all! I suspect that she might be one of the Archangels!"
The atmosphere in the underground hall froze and murderous intent filled the entire place.
The Saint Knights harbored a hatred toward the two largest forces: the Country of Darkness and the Country of Light, represented by the three Archangels. In the Creation War, the Saint Knights were the pawns of the Archangels and the target of the Country of Darkness. As Half-Angels, Saint Knights were incomparably powerful. Therefore, the Saint Knights carried the responsibility to lead the charge against the Country of Darkness. Their battles with the Country of Darkness were full of violence. Countless Saint Knights died in the exchange and their corpses couldn't receive peace, which led the Saint Knights to abhor the Country of Darkness. In the history of the Saint Knights, their hatred toward the Country of Darkness had become a part of their culture. As long as one was a member of the Saint Knights, one would view the Country of Darkness as enemies.
It was almost like justice and evil. Day and night. Inevitable and irreversible.
The other target for vengeance was the Archangels.
They had guarded the monastery for years for the Archangels. But instead of hearing back from the Archangels, they actually abandoned them entirely and left them to their own demise. If the Saint Knights were pure Angels, perhaps they wouldn't object even if they were dissatisfied. However, almost all of them were Half-Angels. The blood of the Angels and Humans were flowing in them and they couldn't accept this truth. They had given their all for the Archangels, but all they got in return was betrayal!
No one knew if it was premeditated or simply an accident that Archangel Serene abandoned the final defensive line of the Saint Monastery against the Country of Darkness. However, love and hate were two extremes. After losing the attention and support of the Archangels, the Saint Knights' pride and conviction had shattered into nothingness. Thereafter, in order to survive in the cruel Creation War, they had no choice but to move to the underground like the Elves. For the survival of their race, they had given up on their pride, glory, and everything. It didn't matter even if it twisted their values and convictions. Beliefs of the dead were meaningless and couldn't be passed on.
If hatred toward the Country of Darkness was a kind of inertia, then the hatred toward the Archangels would be an extension of a twisted resentment and faith. And now, as soon as they heard that an Archangel had come knocking on their doorsteps, their emotions were indescribable by words. However, judging from Sister Helen's dignified expression twisting as though she were an injured, howling wolf, it was probably enough to understand the thoughts going through their heads.
Sister Helen nodded with a sulk. She turned to face her companions and subordinates.
"This is the final test from our holy God. Light has abandoned us and it is time for the representative of light to know our presence! We shall be the final winner! Now, let's use the fresh blood and corpse of the Angel to offer our greatest respects for our holy God!"
Sister Helen raised her right arm high.
"Everything! For the sake of eternal destruction!"
The heavy, massive stone sculpture shattered as it crashed to the ground and Mini Bubble Gum let out a snort. She stood in the middle of the monastery plaza, facing the Archbishop and the group of Saint Knights who had gathered. However, the Saint Knights didn't charge forward like their companions. Instead, they watched attentively at the trio, unsure if they were plotting something or were simply not ready to run into their deaths. But no matter what, they wouldn't stand a chance against Mini Bubble Gum and Canary. The two young ladies were as familiar with the Saint Monastery as Rhode and they knew that there were no traps that could threaten them at all.
"What a bunch of cowards."
Mini Bubble Gum plunged the golden pike to the ground and lifted her chin proudly, looking at her enemies in disdain. Hundreds of Saint Knights corpses were piled up before them. After Mini Bubble Gum entered the plaza, the heavily-armored knights charged toward the little girl. Then... There was no more thens.
The Saint Knights were around level 50 on average and perhaps they could bully the NPCs or lower-level players. However, in the face of the level 85 Mini Bubble Gum who was even in her plain equipment, they stood no chance at all. Mini Bubble Gum swung the golden pike in her hand swiftly and blasted the Saint Knights into the air before sending them crashing to their deaths.
A hundred of them turned into corpses in an instant.
Even the Saint Knights who believed in destruction and death shuddered in fear under this efficiency.
Although the Saint Knights glared like tigers watching their prey, Rhode didn't give a damn about their presence at all. He sized up the monastery before him and looked at the little mermaid. Although Rhode hadn't specifically calculated the amount of EXP he had received, it might be able to bring him above level 50. Not only that, but even the little mermaid grew tremendously. Even though she still wasn't comparable to Gillian and was less dazzling than Celia and Celestina, she was much more formidable than both the Hell Hound and Spirit Bird now.
Besides, not only did the little mermaid grow stronger in card values, her physical body also grew too. She used to be slightly taller than one meter in the water ball, but now, she had as though entered puberty, growing as she took in all the EXP. She was about the same height as Christie now, and the water ball had transformed slightly.
"How strange, Rhode."
Canary gazed curiously at the plaza and rested a finger on her chin.
"The Archbishop should be out by now. Why haven't we see him?"
"Who knows? Perhaps it's a bug?"
Rhode shrugged. Along the journey, the roles of Mini Bubble Gum and Canary had completely switched around with Rhode. According to the classes, Mini Bubble Gum, who was a Cleric, should be the one protecting Rhode. Of course, with Rhode's rich gaming experience, it would still be possible for him to strike a few of the Saint Knights and flee the area if an accident were to happen, even if the enemies were higher in level than him. This was because the level difference between the Saint Knights and him was less than 10 after the amount of EXP he had gained. Moreover, he had Celia and Celestina with him and even if they couldn't handle the enemies, he could summon all four Holy Sword Cards and use the 'Taboo Halo' skill to transcend them into the Legendary Stage. So, what's the difficulty in slaughtering their way out?
The trio didn't loot the corpses as they knew that they were always unlucky and Saint Knights wouldn't drop any useful items anyway. It was widely known that many great loots weren't on the BOSS itself. Instead, they were in the BOSS' room. This was why many player groups would triumph their way to the end and defeat all the monsters and BOSS before returning to pick up their spoils of war.
However, there was a point in which the game was incomparable. In reality, the corpses wouldn't disappear... They would lay quietly and wait for one to wipe out everything on their bodies... Yes, Rhode wasn't sure if this was a great thing or not.
After slaughtering their way into the monastery, the trio didn't stop at all. Mini Bubble Gum charged ahead while Canary cast her whirlwind barrier and flame spells to defend and sweep the area. The trail left by them had been reduced to ruins. The cold moonlight penetrated the clouds and spilled on the lifeless corpses and destroyed buildings.
"Don't give a damn about them. Let's move on!"
Mini Bubble Gum let out a snort and pointed the golden pike at the enemies before her. The Saint Knights clad in scarlet armor tensed up and raised their shields hurriedly to guard the doors as though using their lives to maintain this final defensive line. Mini Bubble Gum showed a smirk and...
At this moment, a loud, imposing voice sounded.
"Who are the ones breaking into the Saint Monastery!?"